Holiday from Rules?
Holiday from Rules is Lord of the Flies from an adult's point of view. Four willful children wish for anarchy and get transported to a tropical island located somewhere on a sound stage. On the island, there are no rules. Lacking authority, their society cannot endure, and they begin to suffer physically and psychologically. The experiment seems to become a bit sadistic after awhile, and within ten minutes the kids agree with the narrator: "If we're going to have any fun, we've got to make some rules!" Portafilms made a few other films about the consequences of adventurism and disobedience; most seem to rely on "toughlove" rather than compassion.
Four kids against black screen. All are repeating rules: "walk don't run, get back in line, etc."
CU Girl: "Don't you know it's against the rules to leave the school grounds without permission."
Ken Smith sez: Four bratty kids interact with an omniscient narrator, who teleports them to a tropical island where there are no rules. The "island" is a minimalist fifties set, complete with black backdrops and two-dimensional props. As in Lord of the Flies, the little children's anarchistic society quickly breaks down, and they become dirty, hungry, and physically battered. This film confuses "rules" with "conformity" (as do many fifties educational films) but after the kids have been slapped around a little, they're more than willing to see things the narrator's way. "If we're going to have any fun, we've got to make some rules!"
Social guidance Rules Children Manners Behavior Animation Desert islands Games (children) Hide-and-seek Shells Hamsters Sharing Shoes (saddle shoes) Gender roles
Danger Lurks Safety
- Closed captioning
- Run time
Subject: and people wonder
Subject: Good lesson for small children
Subject: Some Holiday
Subject: "If we are to have any fun, we better have some rules!"
God the narrator interrupts some kids who are complaining about the rules at school to offer them an imaginary place where there are no rules. So it's off to a "Lord of the Flies" tropical fun spot - or at least a stage with a black backdrop and cardboard cutouts of big ferns. The rules of the English language follow them to this rule-free place, but other than that it's no games because games have rules, and they fight and steal and do unsafe things because people only respect each other and cooperate and care about safety when there is a rule to obey. So no one is having fun. They decide they need rules, lots of rules, but instead of thinking and coming up with the rules they need, they take the easy way out by going back home where they already have rules. Just what any proto dictator wants: Don't think, just obey! Like much of professional child guidance, this film twists the desires of adults (obediance) into the desires of children (fun, friends, safety).